Category

Relationships

What Statistics Can Tell You about Disciplining Your Child

By | Kids, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships | No Comments
I recently talked with a parent who had a relatively harsh style of disciplining their child. I talked with them for a while about trying to shift their style more to a warm guidance style, instead of a stern because-I-said-so approach. But I got push-back. The individual said:

“Look, I know that I can be stern and heavy-handed sometimes, but that’s what my kid needs. For this kid, it works.”

“How do you know it works?” I asked.

“Because, when my kid really steps out of line and I really let them have it, they start doing better.”

“I see.” I replied. “And have you tried rewarding your child for doing things well? Have you tried to bless your kid for doing the right things?”

“Yep!” came the answer. “That really backfires. When my kid is doing really well, and I try to give them good feedback or some kind of reward, they start slacking off… they don’t do as well the next time.”

What do you think of this parent’s answers? They sound sort of logical. After all, if your kid does better when you punish them, and they do worse after you praise them, then it seems like punishment works and praise doesn’t.

But there’s a very important theory in statistics that proves that this parent’s way of viewing the situation is very wrong.
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Before You Talk to a Grieving Person…

By | Communication, Life Challenges, Ministry, Relationships | No Comments
The recent church shooting in Texas sickens my heart. I can’t understand how anyone could do such a terrible, heartless, cowardly thing. It is an example of what happens when a reckless person has pure evil in their heart.

And now, in the aftermath, Americans are reacting and reflecting. Some of this reflection is good. We need to think now about how we can support the victim’s families, and, later, what we can learn from this tragedy.

But I’m afraid some of the reaction is not helpful at all. I don’t often scan Facebook, but today I did. And I was heartbroken at some of the things people were saying. They simply weren’t helpful; and they could make life harder for those who are grieving.

So I thought I’d cobble together a quick post on a few things not to say when you talk to a grieving person. And, I’ll do my best to explain why.
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Three Indications a Story is Becoming a Rumor

By | Communication, Leadership, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
We’re drowning in stories. Whether you’re scrolling through your social media feed, or watching the news, it seems like every lead-in starts with: “you won’t believe this…”

There’s power in a story. Stories hook and keep our attention better than concepts or ideas alone. And they have a way of motivating us to action. Writers and content producers know that.

Think about the last few stories you read online. Chances are they pointed you in a direction. They led you toward a conclusion, or inspired you to take action.  And there’s nothing wrong with that… so long as the story is really accurate.

But what if the story isn’t completely true? What if the story is just correct enough to be powerful, but wrong enough to be misleading? Then we call the story a rumor. And, generally speaking, we all hate rumors.

But how do you know the difference? When does a story become a rumor?

I’ve reviewed some of the research, and I’ve developed this short list: Read More

When He Wants More Sex, and She Wants Less – Two Questions to Ask

By | Communication, Conflict, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s not a new concept that husbands and wives often don’t agree on how often to have sex. But recently, I read a fascinating academic study that did have some new information to offer.

In 2007, researchers Bodenmann, Ledermann, and Bradbury were studying what stress can do to marriages. And, they were specifically interested in a certain kind of stress–the kind most toxic to marriages.

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The Unruly Child in Your Pocket

By | Kids, Life Challenges, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
John has four children. Three of them are very well-behaved. John is one of those parents who believes kids should learn good manners and be polite. Because of this, he’s taught them not to interrupt other peoples’ conversations. He’s taught them to say please when they ask for something, and thank you when they receive it. And, he’s taught them that they can not always be the center of attention.

But he’s only taught these ideas to three of his kids.
His fourth kid is a rebel.

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Has Your Teenager OutGrown Having a “Lights-Out” Time?

By | Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Technology and Social Media | No Comments
Has your teenager outgrown having a “lights-out” time? In a word, “no.”

Of course, as your kid starts becoming an adult, it might seem “not cool” to set bedtime guidelines.  But, let’s face it, most of us have given up on being a “cool” parent some time ago.

Here’s why you should care about your 15-year-old’s bedtime routines:

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Is jealousy in marriage normal?

Is Jealousy in Marriage Normal – Part 2

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | One Comment

Part 2

Is it normal for your spouse to feel jealous even if you haven’t done anything wrong?  How do you respond to them when they are jealous?  And how do you best respond to the jealousy that can crop up in your own heart sometimes?  In this two-part blog post, I tackle these tricky issues.

Read Part 1 of This Post

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Five Questions that Will Make You Look Like a Communication Pro

By | Communication, Conflict, Leadership, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
The best kept secret about how to communicate in a tense conversation is this: forward movement will usually happen because of something you hear, not because of something you say.

I have written in my books and on this blog about the fact that when conversations turn sharp, it usually ends in two people talking (sometimes very loudly) and no one listening.  Arguments and heated exchanges often do nothing to move the ball down the field, and do far too much to elevate your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall stress level.  And what’s the point of that? Read More

When You and Your Spouse Disagree About Politics

By | Communication, Conflict, Life Challenges, Marriage, Relationships | No Comments
It’s one thing to disagree with friends and co-workers about political issues, but what do you do when your spouse is rooting for something or someone that you can’t stand?

Here are a few ways to safeguard the heart of your relationship, and avoid a November marriage meltdown. Read More